Classic Computer Science Problems in Swift is Released!

Last week, Classic Computer Science Problems in Swift was released in print by Manning. It’s now in general availability from both Manning and Amazon. It’s a great book for students enrolled in a computer science program, professionals looking to learn a few computational problem solving techniques they’ve always been curious about, people preparing for job interviews, or anyone who already knows Swift and would like a very tutorial-oriented intro to some basic algorithms from AI.

The book aims for breadth instead of depth. There are chapters on search (including depth-first search, breadth-first search, and A*), graph algorithms (including Prim’s algorithm and Dijkstra’s algorithm), genetic algorithms, constraint-satisfaction problems, k-means clustering, neural networks, and more. It’s not a data structures & algorithms textbook. Instead, it’s a concise set of hands-on tutorials starting from scratch in each subject area. It’s also not an app-development book. The reader will not find any UI code. Instead, it focuses on solving several classic problems one would typically find in an undergraduate CS curriculum as concisely as possible in Swift Playgrounds.

The book assumes the reader is an intermediate Swift programmer. It is not appropriate for absolute Swift beginners. You can watch my short intro video explaining the book on YouTube and you can find all of its accompanying source code (tested against Swift 4.1 Playgrounds in Xcode 9.3) on GitHub. Most of the code will work in any Swift project, including projects for Linux.

If you read the description in the YouTube video, you will find a code to get a significant discount on the book from Manning. You can also download both Chapter 2 (Search) and Chapter 4 (Graph Algorithms) for free from the book’s page on Manning’s website. I think Chapter 4 (Graph Algorithms) is a really great chapter. In it you solve several problems related to building out a Hyperloop network in the United States while developing a graph data structure programmed in a protocol-oriented style.

Writing the book was mostly a joy. I finished the manuscript in September 2017. Delays in Manning’s production department led to the April 2018 release. I apologize to readers who pre-ordered the book and had to wait so long for the final version. I am not terribly happy with the formatting of the .mobi (Kindle) and .epub (iBooks) editions, which unfortunately is out of my control. I recommend picking up either the PDF from Manning or the print edition. When you purchase the eBook from Manning, you get the PDF, Kindle, and iBooks versions together.

Thank you in advance for reading. Feedback from readers in Manning’s early access program has been very positive. Pre-order sales of the book have also been strong. Let me know your feedback (both positive and negative) about the book on Twitter. And Amazon reviews (especially positive ones 😀) are appreciated. We are probably going to “port” the book to other programming languages, but those new books are likely a long-time away from release. I will also update the GitHub repository with an updated PlayGround when Swift 5 ships in final form.

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